You can’t make this stuff up!

American Novus Ordo Bishops Add Note to Good Friday Passion Reading to Prevent ‘Antisemitism’

The so-called United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has moved to ensure that beginning this year, no one exposed to the Novus Ordo liturgical celebration of Good Friday, which includes a full reading of Our Lord’s Passion according to Saint John, will come away with an ‘antisemitic’ impression or attitude.

To that end, a brief note is being printed in missalettes before the Gospel text in ‘Catholic’ parishes throughout the country. The USCCB committee for ecumenical and interreligious affairs states on its page against Antisemitism:

You may recognize a new addition to your 2024 Missal. In 2022, the Committees on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and Divine Worship approved a note to appear in all worship aids in conjunction with the reading of the Johannine Passion Narrative reminding the faithful of the meaning of this passage: Jesus’ love for each and every person.

We are also working with the Office for the Biblical Apostolate and the Subcommittee on Translation of Scripture text to facilitate sensitivity readings of notes in the new translation of the New American Bible and new Biblia in America.


The “note” in question says the following, verbatim:

The passion narratives are proclaimed in full so that all see vividly the love of Christ for each person. In light of this, the crimes during the Passion of Christ cannot be attributed, in either preaching or catechesis, indiscriminately to all Jews of that time, nor to Jews today. The Jewish people should not be referred to as though rejected or cursed, as if this view followed from Scripture. The Church ever keeps in mind that Jesus, his mother Mary, and the apostles all were Jewish. As the Church has always held, Christ freely suffered his passion and death because of the sins of all, that all might be saved.

(Quoted in Michelle La Rosa and J.D. Flynn, “The USCCB’s Good Friday pastoral note”, The Pillar, Mar. 12, 2024)

Naturally, this statement can already be found in the appropriate spot in the liturgical texts for Good Friday, Mar. 29, 2024, on the USCCB’s own web site.

American dioceses are indeed passing on this directive to their parishes. We see it included, for example, in the Feb. 14, 2024 edition (p. 3) of the Pastoral Bulletin of the Archdiocese of Miami, as well as on the web site of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

According to the Jan. 2024 newsletter of the USCCB’s Divine Worship Committee, the purpose of the statement is “to help ensure that the proclamation of the Lord’s Passion is not misused to promote anti-Jewish sentiment” (quoted by The Pillar). Apparently this is a big problem or acute threat in U.S. Novus Ordo churches in our day — hordes of churchgoers toying with the idea of persecuting Jews after reading the Passion according to St. John!

The American bishops’ disclaimer does not come entirely out of the blue, however. It has some history, as Rebecca Cohen, an employee of the USCCB’s ecumenical and interreligious affairs committee, explains in an interview with The Pillar:

Historically, the “passion note” originated with the bishops’ Committee on Liturgy, which back in the ‘80s recommended that it be put into different worship aids.

Over the years, there’s not been any kind of enforcement on it or any type of expectation that it be included, and so it wasn’t always used.

As it disappeared more and more, the bishops decided that it was good to go ahead and require it. We worked on it a little bit to revise the language, but it’s very similar to the pastoral note that has appeared in many worship aids in the past.

(Rebecca Cohen, quoted in “The USCCB’s Good Friday pastoral note”, The Pillar, Mar. 12, 2024)

It is clear that the note to be inserted into missalettes this year very much echoes Nostra Aetate, a document issued by the Second Vatican Council on Oct. 28, 1965:

True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ [cf. John 19:6]; still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today. Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures. All should see to it, then, that in catechetical work or in the preaching of the word of God they do not teach anything that does not conform to the truth of the Gospel and the spirit of Christ.

(Vatican II, Declaration Nostra Aetate, n. 4; underlining added.)

That the ‘Passion note’ would not be in conflict with Vatican II was clear from the beginning. But what is the traditional Catholic understanding of this — you know, what was believed in the 1900 years of Catholicism before the revolutionary pseudo-council?

Let’s examine the note’s contents one by one:

“The passion narratives are proclaimed in full so that all see vividly the love of Christ for each person.”

Indeed, that is very true and beautiful.

“In light of this, the crimes during the Passion of Christ cannot be attributed, in either preaching or catechesis, indiscriminately to all Jews of that time, nor to Jews today.”

Clearly, not all Jews on Good Friday were clamoring for our Blessed Lord’s death. However, it is likewise true that Our Lord was delivered to Pontius Pilate by the religious leaders of Judaism at the time, who vehemently demanded He be put to death, after a condemnation by the Sanhedrin, the “supreme council and court of justice among the Jews”: “Then the high priest [Caiphas] rent his garments, saying: He hath blasphemed; what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now you have heard the blasphemy. What think you? But they answering, said: He is guilty of death” (Mt 26:65-66).

Clearly, Caiphas was not acting simply as a private individual but precisely in his capacity of being the Jewish high priest, who had already resolved to condemn Christ before the court even convened: “And this he spoke not of himself: but being the high priest of that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation” (Jn 11:51).

According to St. Jerome, by this act of pronouncing Jesus guilty of blasphemy and rending his garments, Caiphas lost the status of high priest before God, leaving the office vacant: “And by this rending [of] his garments, [Caiaphas] shews that the Jews have lost the priestly glory, and that their High Priest’s throne was vacant. For by rending his garment he rent the veil of the Law which covered him” (quoted in Catena Aurea: Commentary on the Four Gospels collected out of the Works of the Fathers Vol. I, Part III [Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1842], p. 926.)

Before the unbelieving Jews, of course, Caiphas remained high priest (see Acts 4:6); but by that time, it had become apostate Judaism, since the Catholic Church had already been established and the New Covenant was in force.

One can legitimately say, therefore, that it is Judaism as a religion that is guilty of the death of Christ. In fact, it is precisely the official rejection of Christ that turned the Judaism of the Old Covenant into the apostate Judaism that perdures to this day. It follows, therefore, that all those who are spiritual followers of Caiaphas, all those who align themselves spiritually to this apostate (and now Talmudic) Judaism, are indeed rightly said to be guilty of Deicide, the killing of God.

With all of this in mind, we can now better understand why St. Peter, the first Pope, preached to the Jews — quite collectively and indiscriminately — that they were guilty of the death of Jesus Christ and had preferred Barabbas to Him:

Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you, by miracles, and wonders, and signs, which God did by him, in the midst of you, as you also know: This same being delivered up, by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you by the hands of wicked men have crucified and slain.

(Acts 2:22-23)

But Peter seeing, made answer to the people: Ye men of Israel, why wonder you at this? or why look you upon us, as if by our strength or power we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus, whom you indeed delivered up and denied before the face of Pilate, when he judged he should be released. But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you. But the author of life you killed, whom God hath raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. And in the faith of his name, this man [who had been lame but was miraculously cured by St. Peter], whom you have seen and known, hath his name strengthened; and the faith which is by him, hath given this perfect soundness in the sight of you all. And now, brethren, I know that you did it through ignorance, as did also your rulers. But those things which God before had shewed by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Be penitent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.

(Acts 3:12-19)

Months before the ratification of Nostra Aetate by Vatican II, the heroic Mexican priest Fr. Joaquín Sáenz y Arriaga (1899-1976), who later became one of the first sedevacantists, warned against those “who would have the Ecumenical Council repudiate the deicide charge concerning Jews….” In his 1972 book The New Montinian Church, this same priest states:

It is evident that not all Jews living at Christ’s time were present in Pilate’s courtroom, nor did they ask for our Lord’s crucifixion and death. It is also evident that even the Jews who were present were not personally responsible to the same extent their leaders were, for the leaders not only pressed, but also made themselves and their people liable for the drama of Calvary. It was not they who physically whipped Christ or put a crown of thorns on His head and crucified Him, but they were the intellectual perpetrators of the deicide and principally responsible for all of the sufferings of the Lord in His Holy Passion. Finally, taking into account Israel’s divine choice and the collective ingratitude of its people, it becomes evident that the liability, both jointly and severally, still falls upon those who, today as yesterday, would ask for His Passion and death again.

(Rev. Joaquin Saenz y Arriaga, The New Post-Conciliar of Montinian Church, trans. by Edgar A. Lucidi [La Habra, CA: Edgar A. Lucidi, M.D., 1985], pp. 309-310. #CommissionLink)

Historical fact is historical fact, and we must not deny it out of human respect or “for fear of the Jews” (Jn 7:13).

Of course it is true that spiritually speaking, all sinners are guilty of the Passion and Death of Christ, since our Blessed Lord voluntarily took upon Himself our sins in order to expiate them — but more on that later.

“The Jewish people should not be referred to as though rejected or cursed, as if this view followed from Scripture.”

It most certainly does follow from Sacred Scripture! Or rather, it does not simply follow from Scripture, it is explicitly taught there.

One can simply consult, for example, Thomas David Williams’ Textual Concordance of the Holy Scriptures (#CommissionLink) and find an entry on the Rejection of the Jews under the Prophecies of Christ (pp. 810-811). The following passages are found there:

And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven: But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mt 8:11-12)

But the husbandmen seeing the son, said among themselves: This is the heir: come, let us kill him, and we shall have his inheritance. And taking him, they cast him forth out of the vineyard, and killed him. When therefore the lord of the vineyard shall come, what will he do to those husbandmen? They say to him: He will bring those evil men to an evil end; and will let out his vineyard to other husbandmen, that shall render him the fruit in due season. Jesus saith to them: Have you never read in the Scriptures: The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? By the Lord this has been done; and it is wonderful in our eyes. Therefore I say to you, that the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and shall be given to a nation yielding the fruits thereof. (Mt 21:38-43)

Therefore having yet one son, most dear to him; he also sent him unto them last of all, saying: They will reverence my son. But the husbandmen said one to another: This is the heir; come let us kill him; and the inheritance shall be ours. And laying hold on him, they killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy those husbandmen; and will give the vineyard to others. And have you not read this scripture, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is made the head of the corner: By the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes. (Mk 12:6-11)

There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you shall see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And there shall come from the east and the west, and the north and the south; and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. (Lk 13:28-29)

Then the lord of the vineyard said: What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be, when they see him, they will reverence him. Whom when the husbandmen saw, they thought within themselves, saying: This is the heir, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. So casting him out of the vineyard, they killed him. What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do to them? He will come, and will destroy these husbandmen, and will give the vineyard to others. Which they hearing, said to him: God forbid. But he looking on them, said: What is this then that is written, The stone, which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone, shall be bruised: and upon whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. (Lk 20:13-18)

This isn’t terribly complicated business. The Jews rejected Our Lord, therefore He has rejected them — until they convert, that is (see Rom 11). The same goes for the Gentiles, of course, for “[i]f we deny him, he will also deny us” (2 Tim 2:12).

Why should this be surprising or controversial? Our Lord Himself was clear: “He that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth” (Lk 11:23). Likewise also St. Paul and St. Barnabas, who “said boldly: To you it behoved us first to speak the word of God: but because you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold we turn to the Gentiles” (Acts 13:46).

The prophesied punishment of the Jews for their rejection of God can also be found in Scripture. And yes, it certainly reads like a curse:

Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein were done the most of his miracles, for that they had not done penance. Woe to thee, Corozain, woe to thee, Bethsaida: for if in Tyre and Sidon had been wrought the miracles that have been wrought in you, they had long ago done penance in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment, than for you. And thou Capharnaum, shalt thou be exalted up to heaven? thou shalt go down even unto hell. For if in Sodom had been wrought the miracles that have been wrought in thee, perhaps it had remained unto this day. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. (Mt 11:20-24)

Woe to thee, Corozain, woe to thee, Bethsaida. For if in Tyre and Sidon had been wrought the mighty works that have been wrought in you, they would have done penance long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you. And thou, Capharnaum, which art exalted unto heaven, thou shalt be thrust down to hell. (Lk 10:13-15)

But Jesus turning to them, said: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me; but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For behold, the days shall come, wherein they will say: Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the paps that have not given suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains: Fall upon us; and to the hills: Cover us. For if in the green wood they do these things, what shall be done in the dry? (Lk 23:28-31)

With regard to being ‘cursed’ or ‘accursed’, we should also recall that the fallen human race in general has labored under a curse (see Gen 3:16-19) that only the Redemption of Our Lord can undo: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written: Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus: that we may receive the promise of the Spirit by faith” (Gal 3:13-14).

Instead of reassuring the Jews that they are not under a curse, the USCCB should be explaining to them precisely in what sense they are accursed, and that this is no reason to despair, however, because the infinitely benevolent God-Man whom they cursed and condemned has turned their wickedness into their Redemption and potential salvation! Out of His unfathomable mercy, He has turned the blood curse they heaped upon themselves (see Mt 27:25) into their redemptive washing: “Of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Saviour; may It now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life” (Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, vol. XVII, n. 13 [Nov., 1925], p. 544).

We can conclude with Fr. Saenz:

After the above, Vatican II’s famous statement becomes incomprehensible. It reads: “The Jews may not be depicted as rejected by God or cursed, as if it followed from Holy Writ.” One would have to amend or suppress the holy books to be able to accept this pastoral approach of the Council which, disputing Scripture, dogma, Tradition, the writings of the Holy Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and historical truth, endeavors to exonerate the Jews from their guilt in order to please our deadly enemies who maintain a stand of rebellion and denial with regard to Christ and His Church.

On the other hand, we must bear in mind as Saint Paul affirms, that Israel’s misfortune is neither total nor definitive. It is not total, for there have always been sincere converts from Judaism (we are not speaking about the “marranos,” fake converts or crypto-Jews) who in acknowledging Christ as Messiah and His divinity, have entered the Church, joined spiritual Israel and turned back to be children of the predilection. It is not definitive, because as Saint Paul affirms, the conversion of the Jewish people will be one of the signs to appear before the Second Advent of the Redeemer, who will judge the living and the dead.

(Saenz y Arriaga, The New Montinian Church, p. 313; italics given. #CommissionLink)

Indeed, it is a consoling truth that the Lord Jesus turns away no one who, aided by divine grace, turns to Him sincerely.

The teaching of St. Paul which Fr. Saenz is referring to in the above quote, is found in the eleventh chapter of his letter to the Romans, which is a mini catechism on how the Jews, having rejected God, were rejected by Him, and the Gentiles admitted in their stead. Using the image of an olive tree, St. Paul warns the Gentiles, however, that they should not on that account think of themselves as eternally secure, as if it were impossible for them to fall away just as the Jews did. Indeed, just as the Gentiles can fall away, so it is possible for the Jews to convert and be re-admitted to the friendship of God:

I say then: Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people, which he foreknew. Know you not what the scripture saith of Elias; how he calleth on God against Israel? Lord, they have slain thy prophets, they have dug down thy altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the divine answer to him? I have left me seven thousand men, that have not bowed their knees to Baal. Even so then at this present time also, there is a remnant saved according to the election of grace. And if by grace, it is not now by works: otherwise grace is no more grace.

What then? That which Israel sought, he hath not obtained: but the election hath obtained it; and the rest have been blinded. As it is written: God hath given them the spirit of insensibility; eyes that they should not see; and ears that they should not hear, until this present day. And David saith: Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling- block, and a recompense unto them. Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see: and bow down their back always.

I say then, have they so stumbled, that they should fall? God forbid. But by their offence, salvation is come to the Gentiles, that they may be emulous of them. Now if the offence of them be the riches of the world, and the diminution of them, the riches of the Gentiles; how much more the fulness of them? For I say to you, Gentiles: as long indeed as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I will honour my ministry, if, by any means, I may provoke to emulation them who are my flesh, and may save some of them. For if the loss of them be the reconciliation of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit be holy, so is the lump also: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken, and thou, being a wild olive, art ingrafted in them, and art made partaker of the root, and of the fatness of the olive tree, boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

Thou wilt say then: The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well: because of unbelief they were broken off. But thou standest by faith: be not highminded, but fear. For if God hath not spared the natural branches, fear lest perhaps he also spare not thee. See then the goodness and the severity of God: towards them indeed that are fallen, the severity; but towards thee, the goodness of God, if thou abide in goodness, otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the wild olive tree, which is natural to thee; and, contrary to nature, were grafted into the good olive tree; how much more shall they that are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, of this mystery, (lest you should be wise in your own conceits), that blindness in part has happened in Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles should come in. And so all Israel should be saved, as it is written: There shall come out of Sion, he that shall deliver, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. And this is to them my covenant: when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, indeed, they are enemies for your sake: but as touching the election, they are most dear for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance. For as you also in times past did not believe God, but now have obtained mercy, through their unbelief; so these also now have not believed, for your mercy, that they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded all in unbelief, that he may have mercy on all.

(Romans 11:1-32)

What sobering, edifying, and incredibly beautiful sublime and divinely-inspired words!

If the American Novus Ordo bishops actually believed St. Paul’s doctrine, perhaps some of them would start preaching the Gospel to the Jews, “in season, out of season” (2 Tim 4:2), so that they would be “grafted in” again and have the way of salvation opened to them.

“The Church ever keeps in mind that Jesus, his mother Mary, and the apostles all were Jewish.”

This is a classic half-truth that takes advantage of the double-ambiguity inherent in the adjective ‘Jewish’. This term, along with the noun ‘Jew’, can refer to ethnicity or to religion. If it is used to refer to religion, it can refer to the genuine Judaism of the Old Covenant, which was the true religion (see Jn 4:22) before Jesus Christ established the New Covenant; or it can refer to the apostate (Talmudic) Judaism of our day.

Were Christ, the Blessed Mother, and the Apostles ethnically Jewish? Of course they were! Did they practice Old Testament Judaism? Of course they did, until Christ began preaching that the Kingdom of God was at hand and that what had been foreshadowed by the Old Covenant would now be fulfilled. With His Sacrifice on the Cross, our Blessed Lord founded the Church and made the New Covenant take effect, thereby replacing and superseding the prior order:

The Church which, already conceived, came forth from the side of the second Adam in His sleep on the Cross, first showed herself before the eyes of men on the great day of Pentecost.

(Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Divinum Illud, n. 5)

And first of all, by the death of our Redeemer, the New Testament took the place of the Old Law which had been abolished; then the Law of Christ together with its mysteries, enactments, institutions, and sacred rites was ratified for the whole world in the blood of Jesus Christ. For, while our Divine Savior was preaching in a restricted area — He was not sent but to the sheep that were lost of the house of Israel [see Mt 15:24] — the Law and the Gospel were together in force [see St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I-II, q. 103, a. 3, ad 2.]; but on the gibbet of his death Jesus made void the Law with its decrees [see Eph 2:15], fastened the handwriting of the Old Testament to the Cross [see Col 2:14], establishing the New Testament in His blood shed for the whole human race [see Mt 26:28; 1 Cor 11:25]. “To such an extent, then,” says St. Leo the Great, speaking of the Cross of our Lord, “was there effected a transfer from the Law to the Gospel, from the Synagogue to the Church, from many sacrifices to one Victim, that, as our Lord expired, that mystical veil which shut off the innermost part of the temple and its sacred secret was rent violently from top to bottom” [Sermon LXVIII, 3].

On the Cross then the Old Law died, soon to be buried and to be a bearer of death, in order to give way to the New Testament of which Christ had chosen the Apostles as qualified ministers [see 2 Cor 3:6]….

(Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis, nn. 29-30; underlining added.)

Why is it so difficult for people to accept that today’s apostate Jews do not have a covenant with God? There is only one covenant, and it is the one our Blessed Lord sealed with His Blood, which is for Jews as much as for Gentiles.

“As the Church has always held, Christ freely suffered his passion and death because of the sins of all, that all might be saved.”

Of course it is true that Jesus Christ freely, of His own volition, suffered and died for us: “Therefore doth the Father love me: because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No man taketh it away from me: but I lay it down of myself, and I have power to lay it down: and I have power to take it up again. This commandment have I received of my Father” (Jn 10:17-18).

This is most certainly true, but it does not negate the historical facts and other theological truths we covered above.

Yes, spiritually speaking, all of us, all sinners, all who are members of the fallen human race, are responsible for (and guilty of) the Sacred Passion and Death of the Lord Jesus, because all of us were in need of Redemption and were in fact redeemed by Jesus Christ. This goes for Jews as much as for Gentiles:

Whereby it came to pass that the heavenly Father, “the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort” [2 Cor 1:3], when that “blessed fullness of time” was come [Eph 1:10; Gal 4:4] sent to men Christ Jesus, his Son, who had been announced and promised [cf. Gen 49:10,18], both before the Law and at the time of the Law to many holy Fathers, that He might both redeem the Jews, who were under the Law, and the “gentiles, who did not follow after justice, might attain to justice” [Rom 9:30], and that all men “might receive the adoption of sons” [Gal 4:5]. “Him God has proposed as a propitiator through faith in his blood, for our sins” [Rom 3:25], and not for our sins only, but also for those of the whole world [1 Jn 2:2].

(Council of Trent, Session VI, Chapter 2; Denz. 794)

Well then, has either side the advantage? In no way. Jews and Gentiles, as we have before alleged, are alike convicted of sin. Thus, it is written, There is not an innocent man among them, no, not one. There is nobody who reflects, and searches for God; all alike are on the wrong course, all are wasted lives; not one of them acts honourably, no, not one. Their mouths are gaping tombs, they use their tongues to flatter. Under their lips the venom of asps is hidden. Their talk overflows with curses and calumny. They run hot-foot to shed blood; havoc and ruin follow in their path; the way of peace is unknown to them. They do not keep the fear of God before their eyes. So the law says, and we know that the words of the law are meant for the law’s own subjects; it is determined that no one shall have anything to say for himself, that the whole world shall own itself liable to God’s judgements. No human creature can become acceptable in his sight by observing the law; what the law does is to give us the full consciousness of sin. But, in these days, God’s way of justification has at last been brought to light; one which was attested by the law and the prophets, but stands apart from the law; God’s way of justification through faith in Jesus Christ, meant for everybody and sent down upon everybody without distinction, if he has faith. All alike have sinned, all alike are unworthy of God’s praise. And justification comes to us as a free gift from his grace, through our redemption in Christ Jesus.

(Romans 3:9-24; Mgr. Ronald Knox translation.)

With regard to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was sinless, it was by a singular privilege and grace that the fruits of Christ’s Redemption were applied to her soul preemptively so that she was conceived without the stain of original sin and also kept from all personal sin (see Denz. 833; 1641). That is why she, who was immaculate, nevertheless called God “my Savior” (Lk 1:47).

There is, then, no conflict between all these truths. Even though all of us are guilty of inflicting pain and death on our Blessed Lord on account of our sins, it nevertheless remains true, and of great historical and theological significance, that it was the Jews — those to whom the Messias had been promised! — who delivered Christ to the Romans to be crucified, and to whose pressure Pontius Pilate eventually succumbed. That does not mean that the Roman procurator was guiltless in the matter, only that “he that hath delivered me to thee, hath the greater sin” (Jn 19:11).

Thus we see the USSCB’s sophistry refuted. Their ‘Passion note’ is a misleading monumental embarrassment that emphasizes further the rupture that occurred at the Second Vatican Council specifically with regard to traditional Catholic teaching on apostate Judaism:

Imagine if, instead of accommodating the apostate Jews on Good Friday, the American Novus Ordo bishops had instead included a heartfelt prayer or plea for their conversion!

But no, that of course would have been considered totally unacceptable and no doubt… ‘antisemitic’!

Image source: composite with elements from Shutterstock (tomertu) and Wikimedia Commons (Ng556)
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